What are the six summer activities for remote job seekers? Of course, number 1 is up skilling. Summertime is for up skilling for remote work. Why? July, as with most summer months is probably the worst month to search for a job. Conversely, the best time to look for new employment is in the fall and mid-winter.
Remote Employer Summer Budgets
So let’s take the summer months to prepare for the fall hiring season. Why? Generally remote employers have exhausted their recruiting budgets by the summer. But what if you are one of the people without a job right now, surviving unemployment can take a toll on one’s psyche. Going to museums, amusement parks, and the beach might be nice. Even playing video games to pass the time. For instance, there is research to show that playing video games during unemployment can positively impact well-being, it might not be the most productive use of your time as a remote job seeker.
Video gaming Escapism a no no for Remote Workers
Video gaming escapism is a no no for remote workers and those seeking remote work. But is this true? One researcher argues that resorting to video game entertainment can actually help re-employment. A researcher from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications hold this view. But upon a deeper read, the researchers did find that escapism and fantasy role playing found when playing video games had a negative impact on:
- Completing tasks related to the job search,
- Improving one’s well being, and
- Maintaining positive behaviors related to the job search.
While limited video game playing may reduce stress, excessive video gaming isn’t an activity we would recommend. So what should a remote job seeker do during the summertime?
Recommended Summer Activities for Remote Job Seekers
Here are the top six activities a remote job seeker should do during the summer.
Remote Job Seekers Should Up skill in the Summer
Up skill In a blog written for recent graduates of University of Illinois, it was advised for new entrants into the workforce to use the summer to obtain the skills that employers want. In 2019, the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicated that they were looking for applicants with problem solving abilities, effective communication skills, ability to work in teams, and possession of a strong work ethic. While it is slightly different for remote workers. Employers stress the need for remote workers to possess digital literacy skills, proficiency with video conferencing, teaming and time management tools, and self determination.
Remote Job Seekers Should Network in the Summer
Network There are so many benefits to remote work. Increased remote worker happiness and increased productivity represent just two. However, there is a downside. Research has shown that remote workers can become trapped in silos. There is less spontaneous collaboration among colleagues making it harder to network and share information. Given these facts, it is imperative for workers working virtually or aspirant remote workers to schedule periods for active networking. This may include scheduling lunch break video conferencing sessions, in-person happy hours, weekend fun activities. Forcing yourself to join an association, participate in social in-person gatherings is a must to maintain connections to people within your field. Working from home does not mean working alone.
Remote Job Seekers Should Update their Online Profile and Resume in the Summer
Update online profile and resume Before the expansion of the internet as a platform for seeking jobs. Before the introduction of online professional and social media profiles, the only tool for which to use to obtain employment was a resume. Boy how times have changed? Now prolific remote workers or aspirants must keep track and regularly update their resumes and various online profiles.
In addition to updating, why not create several versions of your resume to meet the specific needs of the remote employer? Or change the summary depending upon the job desired? And highlight the keywords of each desired job?
It is important to stay up to date with the current trends of resume writing. A few years ago, adding a “Career Objective” was in vogue. Now, not so much. In the past you needed a lengthy resume just to prove you were management material. Now, more than one page may indicate you are a “blowhard.”
Further, just a few short years ago, it was suggested widely to use blocks and columns. In the past it was considered prudent to write a story about yourself expressed in resume format. Now you must be boring because of the heavy use of AI (artificial intelligence). Just keep your resume short, sweet and to the point are the best strategies.
Remote Job Seekers should Contact and Update References in the Summer
Contact and update references The value of staying up-to-date with your references can not be stressed enough. Have you thought about the prospect of getting a potential offer delayed because your reference moved their physical address three months ago or changed phone numbers? What about not getting that first step into the door because you failed to update your reference on your most recent accomplishments, job changes or promotion? Don’t be caught off guard. Check in with your references regularly so they are up to speed on your position, skills and abilities.
And while we are at it, you must rotate, purge and refresh the names on your reference list regularly. If your high school advisor is still your top reference when you are thirty years old and well into your career, you are probably not doing this right.
Your most valued references may think less highly of you when they receive lots of phone calls from recruiters 24/7. When they are too taxed their negative impressions may seep into the process, making it difficult for you to secure your dream job. Further, if your high school advisor is still your top reference when you are thirty years old and well into your career, you are probably not doing this right.
Finally, you may need one set of professional references for your in-person career and another set for your remote work. Why? Because the demands and requirements for each setting varies. A remote work environment is heavily reliant upon technology and presentation skills. An in-person, traditional work setting varies and includes many soft skills. But the ability to effectively communicate, sale a product, provide customer service through emails, chat, SMS, forums, video conferencing may be much more relevant to an employer looking for just the right remote work candidate.
Therefore, if your references are less knowledgeable or inexperience about the full requirements of remote work, they will be less likely to focus on these specific demands. So it pays to cultivate references who can speak highly of your remote work background and accomplishments.
Remote Job Seekers should Volunteer in the Summer
Volunteer Want to get out of the unemployed doldrums? Probably the cheapest and the fastest way to up skill, stay positive and remain active in the work force is to volunteer. A study presented by the Corporation of National and Community Service found that unemployed people who volunteered increased the likelihood of future employment by almost 30 percent!
In addition to remaining active in the workforce, volunteerism helps the unemployed expand their network of contacts. It also gives future employers the opportunity to try out or give a test run to a volunteer who may ultimately become a new paid employee.
Remote Job Seekers should Get in Shape Physically and Mentally
Get in Shape Physically and Mentally Staying at home with nothing to do or lacking clear goals can cause poor physical and mental health. Just take the pandemic when everyone remained at home. During this time period almost 50% of the adults in the US gained weight averaging about 30 pounds of extra fat! A Harvard study found that about 40% of the 15 million patients in their data set gained weight during COVID-19. So you can imagine that the risk of gaining weight while unemployed may be high also. For instance, in a British study, job loss and weight gain were closely correlated.
The American Psychological Association, provides resources to psychologists because evidence has been revealed to show that lack of gainful employment damages the mental health and well-being of the unemployed. The unemployed during bouts of unemployment reported feelings of helplessness, lack of control, and even stunted psychological development.
So as an aspiring remote worker, what should you do? Get out in nature and workout the stress through physical movement (provided your doctor gives you clearance). Another tactic would be to regularly take de-toxic stress breaks by engrossing yourself in your favorite novel or historical masterpiece.